Latina small business owners

Be a Star for One Night! Two Latina small business owners sign up for Pitch your Business Competition

Two contestants first to sign up for the Pitch your Business Competition! Following their dream of Being a Star for One Night, two Latina small business owners are the first contestants registered for the Latina SmallBiz Expo in Newark NJ on November 9, 2017 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. The event is co-hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Enterprise Development Center and Media Sponsor Univision 41.

Latina small business owners

(L) Janny Perez, founder Mi LegaSi and (R) Elizabeth Liz Santiago, founder and CEO Celebritay (photos courtesy of participants)

Be a Star for One Night at the Pitch your Business Competition!

“The enthusiasm is building up quickly as we are still two months away from the event and Latina small business owners are already registering for the competition. We are running a promotion offering a free ad on our Expo Journal if they register for the Pitch your Business Competition before August 31,” said Susana G Baumann, Editor in Chief,

In its third year, the Pitch your Business Competition is an opportunity for Latinas business owners at all stages of their businesses –startups, established, micro-businesses or larger small businesses- to “pitch” their product and their story in front of a qualified group of Media Jurors who will then select a winner, second and third place.

“The only requirements are that these businesses have to be Latina owned –at least 50 percent if it is a partnership-,

Be a Star for One Night!

Be a Star for One Night!

have a product in hand, and not be a franchised or agent of a larger corporation –such as an agent of a larger makeup company or insurance company,” Baumann said. “We want to bring to the forefront the innovation and creativity of these beautiful Latinas who are creating products and services based on their customer base needs and their own personal stories,” she explained. “Cause related organizations founded and run by Latinas can also participate.”

This year, the winner will have the opportunity to grab a $1000 in Cash Prize, and be promoted on all major regional and local media participating at the event. In addition, they will have an opportunity to work with an event sponsor who will root for their candidate, offer her assistance and support, and continue to work with them after the event.

“In this way, we want to offer our sponsors the opportunity to become closer to these Latina business owners, know their stories, work with them and be invested in their success. In exchange, we ask the participants to become Ambassadors for that brand, and include it in all their activities –blogging, testimonials, speaking engagements or the like- for one year after the event,” Baumann explained.

The Pitch your Business Competition is a great opportunity for both sponsors and contestants working together that will open possibilities to know better the needs of Latina small business owners, adjust their products and services accordingly, and make their brand known as “Latina friendly.”

Table and Pitch $150 (Get your Table for Free when you receive 15 tickets to sell to your friends, family and clients). Bring your product to sell at the event for the pre-Holiday Season! 

Register here to become one of the lucky contestants to participate and be the Star for One Night!

Mi LegaSi, connecting to your roots

Janny Perez with her daughter Victoria in NYC Latina small business owners Pitch your Business Competition

Janny Perez with her daughter Victoria in NYC

First contestant to signup is Janny Perez, founder of Mi Legasi, a creative way of maintaining American Latinas stay connected to their roots and pass the Latino legacy into their children.

“Mi LegaSí™ is about helping moms with a monthly delivered box that connects them with their Latino culture, nurtures their child’s creativity and the language español, and helps them tell their family’s history and stories with activities that make it easy to create a family heirloom.  But we haven’t forgotten about the Mamá!  Because they are at the heart of their familia, every month they will get a feel good/feel proud treat. They deserve something just for them,” explained Janny to

Janny, a Colombian living in NYC, started her MiLegaSí business based on her own experience as a mom, and her purpose is to preserve and celebrate the Latino culture for our children and future generations while supporting Latino artists, small businesses, and Latino charities.

“Mamás will receive a box filled with 5-6 items that will help them connect with their cultura, create with their young child, and carry on their familia’s traditions.  Items will include items such as preschool bilingual or Spanish books, bilingual toys or games, craft projects, family activities to help moms document and tell their familia’s history, and feel good and feel proud items just for the Mamá,” Janny shared.

Celebritay taking care of your beauty in and out

Elizabeth "Liz" Santiago, founder and CEO Celebritay Latina small business owners Pitch your Business Competition

Elizabeth “Liz” Santiago, founder and CEO Celebritay

The second registered contestant is our own Contributor Elizabeth “Liz” Santiago, founder and CEO of Celebritay, a brand of all natural products. Elizabeth is a Holistic Health & Skincare coach emphasizing on healthier digestive system. She studied Ayurvedic and Holistic nutrition with Dr. Naina Marbali at Ayurvedic Beauty School and has nominal background in the field of Western medicine.

Established in 1998, CeleBritAy is an award-winning, eco-friendly skin care company specializing in hand-crafted raw and organic skincare products packaged in recyclable materials.

“As a Holistic health and skincare coach emphasizing on healthier lifestyle and the digestive system, I help people understand the connection between unhealthy habits, depression, and their skin ailments like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea,” she explained to

“As busy parents, spouses and entrepreneurs, it is important to give it your all. But how can you do that if you are constantly tired, overwhelmed and unfocused? It all starts with one simple, doable change at a time and a can-do attitude. Once you do this, your journey of a healthier lifestyle no matter how busy you are can begin,” Elizabeth said.

Interested in signing up for this amazing Pitch your Business Competition?

Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Business Competition

Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Biz Competition

If you or someone you know is interested in signing up for this amazing competition happening on November 9 in Newark, New Jersey, please find information about this fab event on our Facebook page Latina SmallBiz Expo or register here to become one of the lucky contestants to participate and be the Star for One Night! For additional information, email or call 848 238 6090.

Table and Pitch $150 (you will receive 15 tickets to sell to your friends, family and clients). Bring your product to sell at the event for the pre-Holiday Season!

Best of luck to all participants!

SHCCNJ Social Media Ambassadors

Social Media Ambassadors the online force behind the SHCCNJ Annual Convention

Building a successful event each year requires the effort of dozens of volunteers, Social Media Ambassadors (SMAs) and Chamber members, and this year is no different at the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) proudly hosting its flagship event, the 26th Annual Convention & Awards Luncheon on October 14.

SHCCNJ Social Media Ambassadors

The Chamber Annual Convention is an opportunity to bring together all those who work tirelessly with the Chamber and continue its mission of being the voice of the 80,000 Latino businesses in New Jersey. In this opportunity, we wanted to highlight the Chamber’s SMAs, a group of enthusiastic corporate and business owner individuals, who have naturally and voluntarily come together to root for the Chamber and its vast array of activities.

In this opportunity, we asked them two questions:

  1. Why did you decide to become an Ambassador for the SHCCNJ?
  2. What does the Annual Convention mean to you as a SMA?

And here are their answers! (By alphabetical order)


Natalie Adis, Interactive Media Manager, @SocialSplashGur

Marquis Health Services

natalie-adis-shccnj-smaI became an Ambassador for the SHCCNJ since I saw the opportunity to make a difference in our community of Hispanic business owners and especially Latinas throughout the state of New Jersey. I felt it was necessary to share my passion for Digital Marketing through utilizing my talents in an organization that is dedicated to awakening the #Familia spirit in all of us in order to support and celebrate each other’s success. I am proud to be a SHCCNJ SMA.

The Annual Convention means a place where “NETWORKING” does not only mean “meet and greet” but also is feeling welcomed as soon as you walk in the door. I get to meet the Who’s Who of the Latino/Hispanic business community of New Jersey and get to spend the day amongst fellow members of the #Familia.


Liz Chang, Founder and Owner, @pmbreastfeeding

Pretty Mama Breastfeeding LLC

chang36683-005croppedI stand strong behind the mission and vision of the SHCCNJ as I am representing the female minority Hispanic small business owners in the state of NJ. We Hispanics are a power that no one can stop. We contribute to our national business wealth by starting businesses and hiring others. I personally have benefited a great deal from being a SMA and learning from SHCCNJ leadership. My family and I are grateful for all the SHCCNJ has done for my small business.

The Annual convention means an outstanding opportunity for all in our communities to come together, engage and support small business owners. We shared one language, rich culture and passion for prosperity. We come together and celebrate the success that our SHCCNJ local business leaders and their families are having. It means a time to connect and reconnect, learn from each other, welcome other small business leaders and continue educating ourselves to serve our communities at large.

Kathleen M Cronin, Outreach & Communications, @IrishKateNJ

BCC Hackensack-Ciarco & The Small Business Development Center

kcronin-sma-shccnjI became a SMA because I like to Pay it Forward. Influences from Jaime Flores, a former BCC Latino-American Professor changed my path in 2004. I continue to move forward with my Latino ESL students (present and former) by encouraging them to accomplish their goals and help others in their community. They also encouraged me to move beyond the classroom and into the general public (at BCC Hackensack-Ciarco, the Paramus Library, and The BCC Cerullo Learning Assistance Center). I appreciate having the ability to continue the advancement of Latino diversity in business, academics and culture.



Myriam E. Cruz, VP Member Business Loan Officer, @myriamecruz

Financial Resources Federal Credit Union

myriam-cruz-shccnj-smaI heard about the SHCCNJ through a business partner, and was intrigued by an organization that cared about Hispanic Entrepreneurs and provided the resources and support to help them succeed. When I did my research, I found out it was not only the largest Chamber in NJ, but also its mission –helping small businesses grow- was part of my beliefs. I am excited about the opportunities to help business owners to growth and expand their business, and to be able to facilitate access to capital to make their vision be a reality.

Becoming an SMA for SHCCNJ gave me the opportunity to spread the word about an organization in which I strongly believe. It is the opportunity to network with business owners, bankers, and people of many other organizations who care about other people and like good Hispanics, we are always looking to help each other. We are a great #Familia.

Alejandra Girón, Business Loan Officer, @alejandragiron_

The Intersect Fund

alejandra-giron-shccnj-smaBecoming a SMA for the SHCCNJ fell naturally for me. I really enjoyed sharing and showing all the awesome events that the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce would organize with all my clients and referral partners. I was sure that if they decided to attend any events because my “share” sparked their interest, they would make strong business relationships with other small business owners and ultimately they would join the #Familia.

The Annual Convention is an event that allows me to measure the temperature of the Hispanic business market…through the years it has only become hotter. Professionally, this event helps me establish credibility amongst my clients and referral partners. My clients also get to showcase their business! It’s so exciting to see how some of my clients who have never networked before do it with the many professionals that the Chamber attracts. They learn the basics of promoting their business and it places them in an environment where they feel successful.

Ronaldo Linares, Chef, @Chef_Ronaldo

Family Food Fitness

ronaldo-linaresThe Ambassador life chose me. It felt right, it was something I grew into. I would always find my way talking social media strategy, why it is good for business, branding yourself, and most important, growth. I put a lot of time into creating content, growing my audience, and making sure I represent myself in my complete truth. In the long game, I want to help and inspire everyone to grow.

Being a Chamber’s SMA means an opportunity to learn from others, everyone is under one roof, entrepreneurs from all walks of life. It ultimately becomes a chance for me to tell a story and to learn.

Hipatia Lopez, Founder and Owner, @EmpanadaFork

Empanada Fork / HL Unico, LLC

hipatia_2016-shccnj-smaI decided to become an Ambassador for the SHCCNJ because I feel this Chamber genuinely cares about the small business owners and will help however they could. If they do not have the answers, they direct you to the people who do. As a small business owner, in the beginning you feel lost and alone but as my social media presence grew, then I realized I could help others too. This is one way I do it.

The Annual Convention means a gathering of new and familiar businesses in New Jersey. I love to see what new and exciting things the Chamber has for us each year. The powerful speakers who motivate us entrepreneurs are great. I love to share positive energy to the world.

Reina Valenzuela, MBA, Business Management Consultant, @starfishglobal

CEO Starfish Global, LLC.  

reina-valenzuela-shccnj-smaAs an active Chamber member, sharing online came natural to me. However, online outreach to the membership and building an online community takes time and a lot of effort. Having a group of SMAs made things easier for everyone. All associations and cause-based organizations should have online advocates or ambassadors. It just makes sense!

The Annual Convention is a must-attend in my list. It gathers a wider network, the Chamber’s membership, supporters and contributors. In addition, it offers an opportunity learn from other experts in the field and brings the business community together to celebrate outstanding Entrepreneurs.



Thanks to all SMAs who participated in this feature! And don’t miss this opportunity to be part of our SHCCNJ #Familia. As you see, you will find not only great resources and motivation but new friends awaiting to root for your success as well!

Visit us at our booth for a LIBizus Photo Gallery and enter the opportunity to win a ticket to our Best Business Award on November 29 at Son Cubano!

To view information about Sponsorships and Exhibit Booths please CLICK HERE 

For Advertisement Opportunities please CLICK HERE

To register online please CLICK HERE



Chamber Annual Convention

Statewide Hispanic Chamber Annual Convention highlights #familia is proud to be a Statewide Hispanic Chamber Annual Convention Social Media Ambassador.

Chamber's Annual logo

On October 14, 2016, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber Of  Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) will proudly host its flagship event, the 26th Annual Convention & Awards Luncheon. Held at the Palisadium in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, the SHCCNJ #familia will meet for a celebration of diversity and the growth of all businesses in the Garden State.

The Chamber Annual Convention is an opportunity to bring together all those who work tirelessly with the Chamber to continue its mission of being the voice of the 80,000 Latino businesses in New Jersey. Over seventy exhibitors, government officials, corporate leaders and diplomats all come together as one big SHCCNJ #familia.

“The Chamber Annual Convention, in its 26th iteration, is our signature event,” said the brand new Executive Director Jazlyn Carvajal.  “The Chamber’s mission has always been the promotion, growth and development for all New Jersey businesses.  As such, we are committed to creating platforms for both members and non-members alike to facilitate businesses growth, exposure and opportunity.  For small businesses, this means collaborations with larger corporations and government entities to grow collectively as on a #familia,” she shared.

Keynote speaker at the Chamber Annual Convention

Senator Menendez Chamber's Annual Convention

Senator (D-NJ) Bob Menendez

This year, the keynote speaker for the event will be Senator Bob Menendez, the longstanding Democratic Senator for New Jersey.

Senator Menendez grew up the son of Cuban immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators. He served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 113th Congress and has been widely recognized for his leadership on promoting safe and healthy families.

He has championed legislation to support mothers suffering from postpartum depression, help families meet the challenges of autism, and keep young athletes safe from harm on the playing field. As member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, he has championed increased consumer protection and corporate accountability, fairness in lending, affordable housing, and comprehensive approaches to community revitalization.

Chamber Annual Convention Awards

Every year the Chamber Annual Convention presents prestigious awards to extraordinary and visionary individuals, as well as corporate and government advocates who contribute to and have demonstrated exemplary excellence and leadership in their professions.

2016 Award Recipients are:

Chairman’s Award, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno


Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno was born in Waterloo, Iowa, moving all over the country as a child before she made New Jersey her home. Kim began her public career as a federal prosecutor where she earned a reputation as being tough and independent. She then moved to the United States Attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey, served as Assistant Attorney General and other public positions including becoming the first female Sheriff of Monmouth County. Ms. Guadagno was sworn in as New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor on January 19, 2010.

Other important figures of the New Jersey business and political scene will receive awards at the Chamber’s Annual Convention including:

  • Attorney of the Year, Louis Zayas
  • Rising Star of the Year, Giselle Bellas
  • Latina Trailblazer of the Year, Mayor Wilda Diaz
  • Restauranteur of the Year, Leo Cervantes
  • Outstanding Culinary Person of the Year, Ronaldo Linares
  • Start-Up of the Year, Jimena Flores
  • Non-Profit Advocate of the Year, Jovannie Lorenzo
  • Businessperson of the Year, Rick Martinez / Señor Sangria
  • Social Media Ambassador of the Year, Myriam Cruz

Chamber's Annual Convention
“All our nominees have cemented their places within the New Jersey business and political community,” Executive Director Carvajal said.  “However, this year we looked beyond personal achievement.  Our theme is familia, and the strengthening of the Latino business community via mentorship, volunteerism and collaboration.  All our nominees have proven their commitment to these principles.  They are mentors, volunteers, advocates and outstanding role models for us all to admire and celebrate,” she explained.

Whether availing the New Jersey community with substantive business opportunities, providing education and training or encouraging an open discourse between the public and private sector, the Chamber’s familia ideology is at the forefront of its methodology.

If you are looking to make new business contacts, explore additional business opportunities or cultivate new relationships, the Chamber’s Annual Convention has become synonymous with excellence and commitment to the business community.

Jazlyn Carvajal, Executive Director, SHCCCNJ

Jazlyn Carvajal, Executive Director, SHCCCNJ

Take advantage of the Chamber’s various workshops, opportunities for career development and networking. This luncheon is a who’s who of New Jersey finest in both the public and the private sector. Sit amongst community leaders, and learn about New Jersey’s future in international markets, market your business and get a better understanding of why working together empowers our community.

Carvajal concluded, “It has been a great honor to be appointed the first Executive Director; however, my focus continues to be the Board’s vision, the Chairman’s enthusiasm and the countless other volunteers that comprise the Chamber. I am but a small part of a larger #familia.  Together we will continue to host successful events that are integral parts in the growth and development of the New Jersey Latino business community.”

Visit us at our booth for a LIBizus Photo Gallery and enter the opportunity to win a ticket to our Best Business Award on November 29 at Son Cubano!

To view information about Sponsorships and Exhibit Booths please CLICK HERE 

For Advertisement Opportunities please CLICK HERE

To register online please CLICK HERE




La Borinquena

Marvel Comics’ Miranda-Rodriguez with La Borinquena at the SHCCNJ 4th Annual Diversity Expo

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, creator of La Borinqueña, will join the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ (SHCCNJ) 4th Annual Diversity Expo as the Moderator of the panel: “Our Superheroes Don’t Wear Capes – How does the Latino Community break into fields that don’t feature much Latino participation?”  The Panel is scheduled to take place at the Annual Diversity Expo & Luncheon on June 24th, 2016 at the Rutgers University Student Center in New Brunswick, NJ, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez with his creation La Borinquena

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez with his creation La Borinquena

Mr. Miranda-Rodriguez is a writer at Marvel Entertainment, Editor-in-chief at Darryl Makes Comics, LLC and Art Director/Curator/Owner at Somos Arte.  The discussion will also feature dynamic speakers who are passionate about the importance of diversity in business such as Luis Diaz, Esq Gibbons Law; Alison Banks-Moore, Horizon BCBSNJ and L. Jay Burks, Ph. D., Comcast.

“This Expo will provide valuable information to those seeking expert advice on how to start a business, grow your business or simply get more work. It will also help individuals seeking to network with a broad range of businesses from start-ups to seasoned professionals,” said Carlos Medina, Esq., Chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ.

La Borinquena Superheroe creation that contributes to Puerto Rican students' scholarships

La Borinquena Superheroe creation that contributes to Puerto Rican students’ scholarships

He also added, “There are going to be exhibit booths that will put them in direct contact with the Procurement officers from all levels of businesses – large corporations to government offices.  They will learn what contracts are available and how to qualify for them directly from the source.”

The event will include:

  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Greetings and remarks from Sponsors & Elected Officials
  • Exhibit Booths: 50+ exhibitors will be available to put you in direct contact with the Procurement Officers from all levels of businesses. Learn about available contracts and how to qualify for them directly from the sources!
  • Luncheon & Panel Discussion: Our Panel, which will include experts who are passionate about diversity, will discuss the importance of Diversity in Business and available Procurement opportunities.

As a not-for-profit organization for over 25 years, The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ (SHCCNJ) has become the voice of the 80,000 Hispanic-owned businesses that contribute over 12 Billion to the State’s economy. The Chamber is the premier vehicle to access the Latino community and its formidable purchasing power, as evidenced by our growth of non-Hispanic membership reaching 45 percent.

For more information on this event or on the Chamber, you can access or contact Erica Horton at